Since the founding of the first Albanian NGO-s in the year 1990, the civil society has played an ever more significant role in the development of the country. Especially in the last years, it became an important promoter of the social, economic and political life in the country by encouraging national consensus and partnership in the reformation processes, by launching initiatives to accomplish development tasks and by strengthening public service delivery.

However, experience of the civil sector in Albania remains limited and flawed. Civil society in Albania operates in a week legal and institutional environment. As is characteristic of societies in similar conditions, the Albanian society relies on family or clannish organizations to make up for the weakness of its institutions.

OSFA has identified a number of weaknesses in the present day civil society in Albania: weak culture of volunteerism; weak dialogue at national and local level; insufficient transparency in public service delivery; inadequate status of minorities and marginalized groups of the society.

In view of these weaknesses, OSFA has committed itself to funding projects that aim to offer services, monitor government policies and programs, bring pressure to bear on the government to develop/adapt policies and make them beneficial to the country’s interests; engage into advocacy and lobbying to improve the environment for the development and activities of civil society.

Priority will go to organizations:

1. that OSFA helped create;
2. engage in monitoring and watchdog activities and/or conduct advocacy and lobbying;
3. have a strong base in the communities and are capable of facilitating the two way dialogue between central and local levels of government.

To implement the small grants program, OSFA will use the instrument of “Call for proposals” in accordance with its usual grant making policy. Applications will be submitted to review and selection by boards of experts. The ceiling amount per proposal is 7500 USD.